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Tommy the Tomato and friends


By justjax


“I think I’m going to start a vegetable garden on the roof,” I announced to the family the day we moved into our new flat. The in-laws raised a collective eyebrow. “Do you think I could grow tomatoes out there?” I said, pointing to the large flat area outside the kitchen window. The eyebrows clambered further up my green-fingered father-in-law’s forehead.
“You do realise they need to be watered every day?” he replied, using the same look of disdain he’d given me when I suggested I might run a marathon the year before. He probably had every right to be sceptical. After all, I’d struggled to keep most pot plants alive for more than a week.
In fact, the only one that had ever survived was Colin the coriander from New Zealand. He’d rolled around in the back of our camper van for two months during our recent round-the-world trip, flying from one window to another as we lurched round corners and spending much of his time lying on his side in the sink. Maybe it was something to do with his hardy New Zealand genes. The English ones I’d carefully tended to in my kitchen certainly never had the same stamina and they were standing serenely in my kitchen window.
Undeterred and perhaps even spurred on by the scepticism, I headed straight for the garden centre the next day. I figured I’d start with herbs. If they sell them in pots in Sainsbury’s, they can’t be that hard to keep alive. I picked up a bushy looking rosemary plant and a lush green mint.
Right, good start. Next I spotted a little basil. Using the supermarket pot theory, I figured I couldn’t go wrong. And a little chilli. OK, so this was unchartered territory. But hey, I had to get more than two plants for my bit of roof to qualify as a garden, surely.
I was just on my way to the checkout when I spotted a blackboard with tips for the week. “If you’ve got a greenhouse, you can get an early start on the tomatoes,” it said. OK, so I don’t have a greenhouse. But I do have a window. And tomatoes. They were my dream.
I picked up the healthiest looking specimen I could find and, feeling thoroughly pleased with myself, I sauntered over to the counter.
One Poundland bag of multi purpose compost and a few words of wisdom from the garden centre man later, my first little garden family was complete. I was so excited. I’m watering them every day, bringing them in every night to keep warm and even talking to them like Prince Charles.
Tommy the Tomato, Rosie Rosemary, Charlie Chilli, Mary Mint and Basil Basil will be all right with me I tell you. Hmmph. I’ll show those doubters.

More blog posts by justjax



Good for you,we all have to start somewhere and hopefully you will be able to give him one of your home grown tomatoes to taste in a few months...........

27 Apr, 2009


this is great
I love your positive attitude
my mother is one of those that smiles knowingly that my fads soon wear off and since starting gardening she been shocked to say the least WOHOO

good luck and a large pat on the back
x x x

27 Apr, 2009


Mind out ~
Tommy, Rosie, Charlie, Mary and Basil, might imitate your Princely talk ~
"One is very pleased that you watered one today" :o)

27 Apr, 2009


Good for you and well done!

27 Apr, 2009


fantastic !

27 Apr, 2009


Basil Basil - lol
Good luck with your roof garden.

28 Apr, 2009


Great blog. I am intrigued to know if you did run a marathon? (my twin daughters both run marathons, among other things!) Good luck with the herbs and tomatoes. If determination is anything to go by, they'll be great :)

28 Apr, 2009


Bless you all. Thanks for all the words of support. What a great site this is. And yes, I did run a marathon. And more fool me, I've signed up for next year too :0

28 Apr, 2009


Well done, you - both for your gardening efforts and the marathon.

28 Apr, 2009

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